Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books
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About the Artist

Deborah Wye and Carol Smith. The Prints of Louise Bourgeois. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994

The catalogue of prints by Louise Bourgeois, published in 1994, contains entries for 150 compositions and their evolving states and variants. In all, that represents some 600 printed sheets created by the artist between 1938 and 1993. Most of these works are in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art and were donated by the artist beginning in 1990, when she decided to give her complete printed oeuvre to the Museum. From the time this catalogue was issued until her death in 2010, Bourgeois spent considerable time on printmaking and continued donating to the Museum one example of every composition, with related states and variants. This complete archive and the relatively few prints not represented in MoMA’s collection—together representing approximately 5000 sheets—will be documented on this website. Cataloguing is ongoing and works are continually added to the site.

The documentation and artist’s commentaries in the 1994 catalogue will be transferred to the website, although new catalogue numbers will be established. Prints will be located through various search mechanisms. The chronology, primary references, and print-related exhibition history and bibliography from the 1994 catalogue have now been updated and restructured. For that information, see “About the Artist.” The introductory essay by Deborah Wye from that catalogue has not been updated. It will be rewritten to encompass the artist’s entire printmaking production once all cataloguing documentation has been completed. However, since the essay provides a thorough background to the artist’s printmaking, discusses her relationship to the various techniques, and describes her interactions with printers and publishers through 1993, a downloadable version is available here.

Louise Bourgeois autographing the catalogue, 1994. Photo: Peter Bellamy

Print Version of Essay

The essay “A Drama of the Self: Louise Bourgeois as Printmaker,” by Deborah Wye, was published in the 1994 catalogue The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.

Download Essay

Printmaking, instead of being a reproductive
medium, was for me a creative medium.”
—Louise Bourgeois